The human mind’s ability to reflect is an astounding one. The web itself has ironically no lack of articles and essays that speak out against our dependence on its overflow of information. Here’s another essay from the BBC lamenting how our exposure to voluminous information and unquenchable thirst to keep updated with current affairs is actually resulting in us ‘knowing less’, in
… (losing) our capacity to fix our minds steadily on anything. To sit still and think without succumbing to an anxious reach for a machine has become almost impossible.
The author claims that this phenomena is akin to how
The news occupies in the secular sphere much the same position of authority that the liturgical calendar has in the religious one. Its main dispatches track the canonical hours with uncanny precision. Matins have here been transubstantiated into the breakfast bulletin and Vespers into the evening report.
In other words, keeping updated has become something of a secular religious rite itself. The key difference is that while religious texts often call upon us to go back and reflect on them, the news just keeps feeding us. What is needed then, according to the author, is that we ‘fast’ from this incessant swallowing of information and actually go back to medita…I mean enjoy, some of our old favorites (secular or religious).
If we lament our book-swamped age, it is because we sense that it is not by reading more, but by deepening and refreshing our understanding of a few volumes that we best develop our intelligence and our sensitivity.
Do you agree with his assessment that keeping updated or ‘connected’ to information flow is a modern religion? Why?
Do you share his lament that we do not take time to ponder over what we have read these days?
Are people in Singapore or your society facing a similar issue?